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Signs of the End Times (3 of 3)

Mike Connell

Signs of the End Times (3 of 3) 12 Signs (from Matthew 24)
1) Widespread upheaval - wars and natural disasters across the world
2) Widespread persecution of Christians
3) Widespread offences
4) Many false prophets
5) Widespread lawlessness
6) Widespread corruption and violence
7) The coming of the Lord will be unexpected
8) Restoration of the nation of Israel
9) Narcissistic, self-obsessed people.
10) Cosmic upheaval, and global fear.
11) Increase in knowledge
12) Gospel of the kingdom preached globally.
Open your Bibles with me, into Matthew 24. We're looking at a series, three messages called the Signs of the End Times, and this is the third one. I will go through the 12 signs, and then focus on just one.

Matthew 24:3 – “As he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying: Tell us, when these things will be? What will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age?”

He's been in the temple. He's seen how great the temple is - the massive, big walls, it was just an amazing construction, and the disciples are impressed by that - but Jesus said: don't be impressed, because that's all going to fall. Everything will be torn down. There won't be one stone left upon a stone.

They were astonished, so when they got with Him quietly, they said: what will be the sign that this is about to happen? What is the sign of the End Times, when You will come? Two questions - and as you read through Matthew 24, Jesus answers those two questions, but not quite in the order they asked, and He spreads it out over Matthew 24 & 25.

Matthew 24 and 25 are all one series of teachings, and all the parables in Matthew 25 relate back to that one simple question - what will be the signs of the end, of Your coming?

He talks in parables… Then at the End Time, the kingdom be like this… five wise virgins, and five foolish… the kingdom be like the servant… He's trying to get you to understand, and have an insight, to the End Times - what it will be like. We've already shared a little bit about that, and what we found was that Jesus three times warned them about deception. Three times! That means that you will think you're right, but you're wrong! You will be listening to things that are wrong… but think they're right. He warns us three times!

In the context of His second coming, and the turmoil in the End Times in the world, He says: you need to be careful that you're not deceived. In another message, I will talk about how to prepare yourself at the End Times - the kinds of things you need to do. The primary one is to become grounded in truth - in the Bible truth. If you're not grounded in Bible truth, then you won't know where you stand, or what you believe. You will be carried with every wind and doctrine.

The second thing, that He repeatedly said - He repeatedly said these two things, and they're different words but they really refer to the same thing. One of them… He said: prepare; or be ready. He tells us to be ready. He tells to watch and pray - and that's mentioned four times, all together.

Three times, He said there's going to be some tough times in the End Times. It will be difficult. There will be a lot of funny ideas going around, and people will be drawn away; and He said: here's what you need to do… Make sure that you personally prepare yourself - that you're a place of prayer, and spiritual sensitivity, and awakeness. In other words, wake up!

I want to just list for you now, the signs. I've already done six of them. I want to list the remaining six, and then I will pick up one, and just work with the one.

Jesus responded to their question, regarding the signs of times…

1) Widespread upheaval - wars and natural disasters across the world (verses 6 & 7).

2) Widespread persecution of Christians (verse 9). He said, you'll be persecuted, and hated by all men. There will be resistance to Christ, resistance to the word of God.

3) Widespread offences (verse 1)0. Many shall be offended and betray one another. One of the signs of the End Times is how easily people are offended.

4) Many false prophets. People who present themselves as Christians, carrying a ‘word for the season’, or a ‘word from God’… but they're not. They have an agenda to enrich themselves, and they exploit God's people, for their own ends - and by their fruit, you will know them.

5) Widespread lawlessness. A disregard for law and order, for authority - and it would be widespread, across the globe, in the End Times. A consequence of that (verse 12), is that the love of many would grow cold. Love for God, a passion for God, a selfless love that serves people with no agendas – that is what will grow cold. People become very self-centred.